Celtics 105, Bucks 90
Paul Pierce wishes the Celtics could play like they did against
the Bucks every night. Rookie Brandon Jennings already wants
another shot at the bullies from Boston with more on the line.
Pierce scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half and the
Celtics beat Milwaukee 105-90 on Saturday night without Kevin
Garnett, pushing the Bucks around in the process.
“It was a big win. I wish we could come out like this every
night,” Pierce said. “We have to get some momentum going as we
head into the playoffs.”
After a rough-and-tumble game in Milwaukee last month, this one
featured more pushing and shoving late and could be a sign of
things to come in a first-round matchup in the Eastern Conference
Bucks coach Scott Skiles was ejected, Celtics forward Glen Davis
squared off with Kurt Thomas, and Jennings was inadvertently kicked
between the legs in the fourth quarter.
“When the playoffs start, it’s going to get crazy,” said
Jennings, who scored 19 points. “It’s going to be fun and I can’t
wait, just from the two games we’ve played them it’s going to be a
It almost seemed as if one was about to break out, but the two
teams aren’t guaranteed to meet yet. Boston will either be the
third or fourth seed and Milwaukee will be either the fifth or
The Bucks have the most sway in the situation, playing Atlanta
on Monday and at Boston on Wednesday.
Down the stretch in this one, Milwaukee missed Andrew Bogut –
sidelined for the season by hand, wrist and elbow injuries – and
again failed to win four straight without the 7-foot Australian
since drafting him No. 1 overall in 2005.
“It is a big loss,” Pierce said. “He was having an all-star
type season. He was a big part of what they did to turn their
season around. No one expected them to be in the playoffs.”
Now, the Celtics, who won for just the third time in the last
eight, might have to deal with the Bucks first in the
“Boston is like big bullies from school,” Jennings said. “A
lot of teams don’t like that.”
If the Celtics want to make a title run, they’ll need everyone
to step and showed the Bucks they’re ready to tangle in the process
as Garnett rested to prepare.
“A couple technicals here, a couple of technicals there,”
Pierce said. “Maybe we are setting up something for a week and a
Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 10 assists, Ray Allen scored 21
points, Rasheed Wallace and Davis finished with 12 each.
The two teams have certainly irritated each other in the
previous two matchups, and Milwaukee (45-35) lost its composure
down the stretch.
“They’ve got a little bit of kind of brash overtone to their
team, obviously they’ve won a championship, so they’ve got a right
to feel that way,” said Bucks forward Jerry Stackhouse, who had 12
points. “We’re going to step up and match them every way we can.
If that’s who we wind up playing in the playoffs, it should make
for an entertaining series.”
Pierce hit three straight baskets for Boston to give the Celtics
an 88-81 lead with 3:32 to play before things turned sour.
First, Thomas grabbed two offensive rebounds, but felt he was
fouled by Davis when he tried to drive to the basket and was hit on
the head, complaining to the referees on the way back down.
He got his revenge quickly, throwing Davis to the floor on the
other end with 2:35 left and drawing a flagrant foul. Davis
received a technical when he jumped up and bumped Thomas
immediately, reminiscent of the teams’ March 9 meeting in Milwaukee
when Davis squared off with the much smaller Jennings.
The Bucks won that one 86-84 after Bogut scored 25 points.
Without Bogut, no one was able to fill the void.
“At this stage, things are getting a little more intense right
now. You’re going to have some moments like that,” Stackhouse
said. “If you’re going to get a technical, hopefully it’s a double
so nobody’s shooting any free throws.”
On the next possession, Pierce and Stackhouse got tangled up.
Stackhouse drew a foul while holding Pierce on the court.
The call enraged Skiles, who pointed at the officiating crew and
said something that drew a double technical and an ejection as
Boston sealed the win by hitting all 12 free throws after Thomas’
“I explained my side of it, although I don’t really have a
‘side,’ there was no ‘side,”’ Skiles said. “It happens. My guys
were going at it pretty hard right there and I wanted to come to
NOTES: The Celtics went 12 of 19 in the third quarter. … Bogut
was at the Bradley Center before the game, but left before the
locker rooms opened and has yet to speak to reporters about the
injury. … Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo was at the game hours after
he pitched in Milwaukee’s 7-1 loss to St. Louis.